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Old 07-16-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


I was replacing some light fixtures today, and now I'm starting to second-guess how I handled the grounding wires. Each box has a bare copper grounding wire. The new fixtures have green insulated grounding wires. The mounting bracket is a custum variety (not a strap), and there is no green grounding screw. I was going to use one of the mounting screws that are recessed into the box, but instead I ended up directly capping the bare copper (house) wire to the fixture's green grounding wire. In other words, the copper wire was not first wrapped around anything in the box.

Is the fixture grounded or not?

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Old 07-16-2009, 05:08 AM   #2
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


It is grounded correctly

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Old 07-16-2009, 12:46 PM   #3
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


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You did it right, the bare copper wire should be wire nutted to the green wire of fixtures/switches if they provide it.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


If the boxes are metal they need to be grounded witha ground screw. If the boxes are plastic you are fine.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


Thanks, all of you. The previous (older) fixtures didn't have a grounding wire. And the bare copper (house) wire in one box was attached to a mounting screw and in the other box wasn't attached to anything. So I suddenly (late last night) started wondering if I should have first run them to a mounting screw and then to the fixture's ground wire.

So, now I'm still confused. The boxes are metal. Can I cap them directly together, or do I need to run the bare copper wire to a mounting screw (or purchase a green grounding screw) first before capping them together?

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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Wiring of bare copper wire in a light fixture


Okay, so I think that I indeed have NOT wired this correctly. If I understand what I've been reading, then my light fixture may be grounded but the metallic electrical box might not. I believe I should have:

1. run the bare copper wire to a grounding screw in the electrical box so that the box is grounded (in my case, it will have to be a mounting screw)

2. following on from there, connect the copper wire to the green insulated grounding wire of the light fixture.

It's the first step that I skipped.

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